The BMW That Broke My Heart
It was a nice car. It was a 528i that was intended to be my wife’s car, but she just couldn’t love it so it fell upon me to host this machine. Sure it had quirks that I fixed as soon as they popped up, but one day it started to over-heat. I did something counter intuitive to get it to cool down. I raced the engine and the temperature came down.
Eventually a pattern developed where the temp would inch up and just before the red-line was reached the temp would go down. There was air in the coolant line. Now with BMWs you don’t just pour coolant into the reservoir. You have to jack up the front end and bleed the air out of the system as you add coolant. I would do this and all would be good for a couple of days and then it would happen again.
I replaced every hose, the radiator, the thermostat, the heater core, the fan clutch and then it still overheated. I replaced the head gasket. And it overheated again.
The only thing I could figure that there was a crack in the block, probably in a cylinder since coolant never leaked out; air just got in and the only place it could get in with more pressure than the coolant was through the cylinder.
I was going to replace the engine, but then the transmission light came on. So here I was, stuck with this lemon. It was great to drive when it was drivable, but it was so unreliable and expensive to constantly have it in the shop. We decided to trade it in. Fortunately it was drivable to a dealership. I made a full disclosure of all the problems with it, but they wanted it anyway and gave us 1/10 of what we had into it. That was worth it, just to get it out of my life for good.
We replaced the BMW with a Mini Cooper, which is ironically made by BMW.